Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Phew - I was a little unhinged last week, wasn't I?

I am willing to admit now that my reaction was slightly over-the-top but, my God, it felt so amazing to just vent.  By the time I went to bed that evening I felt totally calm, all my anger and frustration had dissipated.  My goodness, this blog is better (and a darn sight cheaper) than therapy.

It has been a hard week - but at the end of it, and with a lot of breathing, I have reached a position of both acceptance and clarity.

The day following the Revelation ex and I had possibly the most open and honest phone conversation we have ever had.  We discussed his new girlfriend and he apologised profusely.  He brought up the subject of moving home and confirmed it is definitely on the cards but probably not for at least another year.  We talked about the approach we want to take regarding the divorce and I laid bare my feelings of vulnerability regarding financial support for the short-medium term.  He was gracious, open and honest and by the time we hung up I was feeling almost euphoric.  It felt like such a weight had been lifted.  It's amazing what can happen when you simply remember to breathe.  (Note to self: try it more often.)

A couple of days later ex calls to tell me that he is taking New Girlfriend to the UK for a few days and is planning to introduce her to our friends and his family.  

Cue instant feelings of being sucker punched all over again.  Breathe Nicola, breathe.

I gather all the dignity I can muster and act all perky on the phone, as if this information doesn't matter to me one jot.  Ex is going to the UK to attend his grandmother's funeral - a woman I greatly admired and I so wanted to be there with his family to pay my last respects.  This is now not a privilege I am entitled to apparently.  I swallow the bile in my throat and make an attempt to be jovial and grown up when ex confesses "C has never been to London, so this is a good opportunity...."  He trails off.  I bite my tongue before I retort 'well she has a passport at least' or 'is this her first time out of the country?'  

Instead I lamely joke, "well, I hope she likes it because she may well be living there for many years to come..." and then of course feel even worse when ex responds, "well exactly".

I make a valiant attempt to soothe my hurt feelings by heading straight to Bloomingales and making a mass purchase of new boots.  Hah!  You might have met the new Love Of Your Life - but that's okay because I have sexy new designer footwear bought at a steal.  

But by the evening I am a wreck again and seek solace in several chocolate martinis with a girlfriend, while gazing lovingly at my new boots.  Can you complete me?  I ponder somewhat drunkenly, as I gaze at my fat athletic calf squeezed tightly into soft brown leather.  The realistic answer is that they are just boots and barely complete my outfit.  Maybe new jeans then.  There's nothing a great pair of jeans can't resolve, surely?

The weekend plods on and once again, within 24 hours I have gained a slightly more generous perspective and am no longer fantasising about kickboxing anyone to death.

Monday is a national holiday and ex has the boys in the morning and meets me at midday so I can take the boys to a play date, before taking them back to his at 4.30pm for a sleepover.  Unbeknown to me New Girlfriend was with them but at the switch over I didn't meet her.  In the afternoon I got a text saying 'am going for a run...can we say 5 instead of 4.30?'  I had spent the afternoon in tears about him and NG and wasn't willing to be flexible.  Cut your bloody run short, arsehole, I thought and stick to the agreed time.  I have plans.  So I texted him that I wanted to keep to our 4.30 time.  No reply.  Obviously already out running.

I turn up at 4.45 and as I drive up see him and a woman hugging by the front of his building.  The infamous NG obviously.  My heart starts to palpitate.  I am not ready for meet her.  Don't want to meet her.  Just want to slap her.  Or him.  Or both of them.  Just want to burst into fresh tears.  But of course I don't.  I stick on a friendly face and greet ex and hand over the boys and go and say hello to her.  She is pretty, looks like a really nice person, she smiles broadly at me...I feel as if I am in purgatory.  Ex hugs me and I kiss the boys gaily, all smiles, and repeat how nice it is to meet her.  I get in the car and drive off...and burst into tears.

I cry all the way to Bloomingdales feeling as if my world is imploding.  I call two friends and continue to cry and cry and cry.  I want to email ex and tell him how I am feeling.  I feel so angry that he is probably thinking 'well, that went well', as he hugs the new woman in his life.  I can't stand the thought that he is on top of the world and feel an intense urge to create chaos - any form of chaos - to destroy it.

I buy more boots.  Because of course that is going to make me feel better. New boots.  Miracle cure.

I cry all the way home.  Another friend calls and we talk and talk.  She tells me I am being too nice - but really, NG does seem very nice and what possible reason do I have to dislike her?  Despite that, I am still seething that he is now 'a couple' and feel confident that now all the weekends with the boys will be spent with her and I can't stand the thought of their happy little family unit.  

That should be me! my head screams.  I continue to cry.  The predictable unfairness of it - that he can move on so easily with this younger woman and I am left out in the cold - makes me want to hurt him so badly.

I go to my Kabbalah class, still in tears.  Certain that I cannot be the bigger person.  That I want to show him how much this hurts and not be accepting and supportive.  Of course, I know deep down that it won't accomplish anything.  I don't care.  I continue to plot my next move.  The evil little movie in my head plays vivid images involving a combination of violence, blood and screaming of an R-rated nature.

The class starts.  My mind drifts.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Zeir Anpin.  99% energy.  The bigger picture.  Heard it all before.  Not interested.  Next.

And then the lecturer plays a video of the brain scientist who had a stroke and experienced the expansiveness of the right side of her brain, as her left side was being incapacitated.  (The video is on Ted.  Her name is Jill something or other.  It is long but really worth watching.  Of course if I was a thoughtful and generous blogger I would paste a link here...but no).  

And my whole perception shifts.

Things become clear.  I need to stop focusing on ex's happiness and thoughts on how much I want that to fall apart.  I need to start to focus on my happiness.  If there were no obstacles, what would I choose to do?  How would I be living my life right now?

It doesn't take a brain scientist to come up with the answer.  First of all, I would move home.

Of course.  Why put my life on hold for anyone any more?  I know where I want to be - why wait any longer than necessary?  So I am planning on moving home this summer, with the boys.  Watch out North London - I am heading home.  I feel such a relief knowing that this is what I really want I feel instantly relaxed about ex and NG.  I feel in such a position of clarity about my future - and so excited about finally being able to start afresh, that I am truly thinking, 'you know, I really do hope this works out for you if this is how it is going to be - go be happy...and I will go be happy.'

These thoughts and feelings consume me all evening.  I can't sleep.  There are so many things I want to say to ex that I don't want to be left unsaid.  I get up at 1am and write an email to him which expresses exactly how I am feeling.  It's open and honest without being overly sentimental.  I write from a new found sense of peace with the present and excitement for the future.  

I am taking control of my destiny, at long last. 

I am going to continue to respect ex's position in my life - and this new sense of clarity doesn't automatically make me love him any less, even though his attention in that arena is well and truly diverted.  But first and foremost I am going to respect myself a whole lot more, have confidence in my ability to do it alone - and have the gumption to live the life that I need to live.

Blimey o'reilly - can this be true?  Can I finally be growing up at the ripe old age of 42?

I think there's a chance that my 40s might be the best years of my life after all.  


  1. I think my head would explode if I had that much to deal with in a year, let alone a few days.

  2. This breathing thing is doing you a lot of good. You are definitely most grown up in your approaches. I hope that ex is considerate to you with your plans to move back. Big hugs xxx

  3. Wow. Good for you. And have you heard back from him?

  4. Well done you, you sound like you've behaved with the utmost dignity. You'll soon forget all about this week and be caught up in your new moving plans, plus you got some fab new boots as well.

  5. mwa - I am simultaneously energised and exhausted. It's a lot to take in. I am not a patient person and I have been patient for a long time so to finally be able to take action is daunting but I know it is the right thing to do.

    Fraught Mummy - Me too. I'll no doubt keep everyone posted ;)) Thanks for the hugs x

    Potty Mummy - Well, he acknowledged receipt of the email and merely said it was a lot to take in and he didn't understand all of it (even given my eloquence? not possible surely?). We are going to talk about it when he returns from the UK next week. It will be a massive relief if he doesn't contest my wishes to move home. We'll see. Will require him relinquishing a huge amount of control and being completely unselfish. Not sure if he is capable of that without a battle.

  6. Very bored in Catalunya - hmmm, dignified on the outside while screaming like a banshee within! It's hard not to be aware of the pain and suffering families are experiencing in Haiti to put a lot of what I am going through in to perspective. Makes me a little ashamed to be so self-involved. So I am going to try to keep dealing with this with grace and dignity and not blow the whole thing out of proportion, irrespective of how momentous it feels at times. The other thing that is keeping me grounded is by prompting myself to think: what does this mean to the boys? is she a good thing or a bad thing? if they are happy spending time with her then that's all I should care about and my own pride should not really come into question. Or at least if it does, I should at least have the maturity to recognise it as such.

  7. I think having a plan makes life so much easier, it gives you something to work to and focus on. I think you are right concetrating on you and the boys

  8. Oh, jeez, what a time of it you are having. I hate that biting back thing where you have to pretend you are fine and happy and the worse feeling when they believe it all and you are watching them relieved they have gotten away without a scene ect whilst inside you are dying. thank god you have this place to vent. Am sure my head would explode if it were me.

  9. Making that decision must have been such a relief. I did exactly the same thing after my divorce and it was, without a doubt, the best decision I have ever made. I found a new life, then when I had that sorted, a new man. Stick to your guns and do what's best for you. Your kids will be happy if their mum is happy.
    PS I love your blog!

  10. Blinkin 'eck, that's a lot to take in! But wow, you're making a change for the better - and hey, you can never have too many pairs of boots. Fantastic.

  11. Oh honey...It's so much to handle sometimes. I can't imagine the pain of going through it while still actually loving one's ex, so my heart just hurts for you. I'm glad that you're redirecting your energies and thoughts, though. I think that's the healthiest thing you could do right now. And that way lies peace. And eventually? Love.

  12. Really glad to hear you've made a decision - and sounds like a good one. Take the bull by the horns (as it were..!)

  13. So maybe now is the time for me to comment and say that I have found someone to live with and will be moving in the next 5 weeks? Amazing how it all comes together when you start taking action. I will see you in North London, in the summer, feeling a remarkable sense of wonder at how this has all fallen in to place.
    And in the meantime, you really don't need any more boots. Oh, and my ears are tireless for when you hit the bumps.
    Love you heaps and masses, and love the blog post. Now I'm off to find Jill somebody on TED.
    x x x x x

  14. Easily found it - stick it in your next post!

  15. Yay! Except I want you to stay here but never mind. It's not about ME.

  16. Good Luck with such a big life change, and well done for focusing on your happiness x